An Architectural Mix of Optimism And Dystopia

You’ll never look at architecture the same way again. That’s the assertion stated in the promotional film for the new book Storytelling Architecture, created by online architecture platform, Blank Space, and the publisher, Volume. And they’re probably right.

Because this isn’t a book showcasing existing structures, nor structures in which plans have been approved, funded and scheduled for construction. It’s a collection of imagination, so to speak; of designer's and architect's design and narrative forecasts into different possible futures, where each, as the press release reads: «…captures a rich world of internal and external space, of possibilities and warnings». And yes—in light of our times—they’re just as dystopian as they’re fascinating—a fine mix of post apocalyptic, space-traveling, used-material-constructing, earth-shattering, dystopian realities where old monuments are neglected, structures hovers in the air, and whole mountain sides are being shaped to benefit gravity-challenging construction.

The book is a result of Blank Space’s Fairy Tales architecture competition; an annual event where thousands of competitors—from students and young practitioners to multinational firms and Pritzker Prize winning architects—enter their imaginative projects of tomorrow, ultimately giving a comprehensive insight into which social and environmental issues that occupy the contemporary architect’s mind.

«When we launched the Fairy Tales competition», Matthew Hoffman, cofounder of Blank Space, says, «we couldn’t have comprehended the great willingness within the architecture and design communities to tell new stories—stories that are harbingers of a new reality.» Chase Rynd, director of the National Building Museum, adds, «The images and narratives are powerful—a testament to the power of architecture as a world builder.»

The printed package features a quarter-bonding and rounded spine, encouraging both reading and looking, ultimately serving as an fitting contribution to your coffee-table-book table. Throw in a little extra dough and you can choose your own unique cover. Quite dope.

Storytelling Architecture launches February 15.